Friday, 21 December 2018


in two minutes
this poem will self-destruct
a cryptic instruction a scrawl of invisible ink
a powder-puff of toner intangible and gone
message ends

if you pay for the privilege
by coin-crossed palm some subscription
or a crowd-funded work of art or activism
stare at the words until your eyes bleed
hollow out the meaning as if this cup
of text was a fruit full of flesh
ready for consuming

money has gone out of fashion now
along with civilised behaviour
it is the end of history
gold and silver melted for scrap
paper money shredded by an artist’s trick

more fool you who thought the green-eyed
monster was only envy but then found
payment and its transacting touches
a hand-to-hand financial contagion
that fed your souls

too bad
as the hammer fell the blades were spinning
and acquisition and ownership rendered obsolete
torn remnants of an idea of yourself you once had
an idea once bolstered by your purchasing power
fiscal leverage of the self-important suit
that money buys to make itself
seem artful and alive

some suspected the waste paper
piled beneath the frame was more valuable
than the image now destroyed just as this poem
if you look long enough will rearrange its words
or dissolve like cheap copy-paper in rain
becoming something else

or nothing after all

© Brian Hill

What happened next? How Banksy's shredder proved he is a serious, important artist

Brian Hill. 50 years a poet. One-time designer and film-maker; long ago, the rhyme-slinger, cartoon cowboy, and planetarium poet; now feverishly stringing words together in the hope of making sense.
Brian blogs as Scumdadio (don’t ask).